the Elixir of Love | Lyric Opera House | Classical | Chicago Reader
This is a past event.
When: Sat., Jan. 23, 7:30 p.m., Wed., Jan. 27, 2 p.m., Sat., Jan. 30, 7:30 p.m., Tue., Feb. 2, 7:30 p.m., Fri., Feb. 5, 2 p.m., Sun., Feb. 7, 2 p.m., Wed., Feb. 10, 7:30 p.m., Sat., Feb. 13, 7:30 p.m., Fri., Feb. 19, 7:30 p.m. and Mon., Feb. 22, 7:30 p.m. 2010
Price: $33-$207
Lyric Opera’s production of Donizetti’s 1831 comic two-act L’elisir D’amore is funny, well performed, and full of great bel canto singing by an excellent cast. The charming sets, meant to evoke a rustic 19th-century Italian village, even include a live horse. Soprano Nicole Cabell, whose lyrical and coloratura singing seems effortless, plays the fun-loving, flirtatious Adina; she’s pursued by lovesick peasant Nemorino, sung with great zest by tenor Giuseppe Filianoti in an impressive Lyric debut. In Filianoti’s portrayal, Nemorino’s ardent longing is equal parts buffoonery and tenderness, the latter at its peak in the aria “Una Furtiva Lagrima”—which he sings when he thinks he’s seen proof that Adina does in fact love him. He believes he owes his success to a “love elixir” (actually just cheap Bordeaux) bought from an unscrupulous country doctor, Dulcamara, who’s played to the hilt by baritone Alessandro Corbelli, a hilarious character actor. Baritone Gabriele Viviani is also entertaining as the pompous, arrogant Sergeant Belcore, Nemorino’s chief competition for Adina, but his Lyric debut was somewhat marred by weakness at the bottom of his range. All the duets and trios are terrific, though, as is the chorus throughout. Beginning February 7, Adina will be sung by Susanna Phillips and Nemorino by Frank Lopardo. Bruno Campanella conducts. —Barbara Yaross

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